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The View From Above: LAist Does Some Pre-Oscars Schwag Haging

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Being a high-stakes online journalist is brutal, brain-taxing, soul-bruising work. But every now and then you get the little bit of recognition (read: free stuff) that makes it all worthwhile.

On Friday I had the chance to attend the Haven/Elle magazine pre-Oscars "gifting suite" along with LAist's own Lisa B.* We made our way to the hills of Beverly Hills and after fighting our way through a forest of monstrous Cadillac Escalades -- what better way to say, "I'm filthy rich and I have no taste?" -- we found ourselves in a posh modernist house with a stunning view of West Los Angeles.

All manner of free food and booze awaits you -- as long as you're willing to drink your cabernet out of a paper cup that promotes Monster energy drinks. That's the thing about these events, there are sponsors for E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G. Sponsors for the tea sandwiches at the snack table, sponsors for the vodka, sponsors for the energy drink, sponsors for the dessert table. I'm only surprised there wasn't a sponsor for the toilet paper you use to wipe your ass. Although who knows. I didn't go to the bathroom, so there might've been.

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The sponsors ranged from high (hooray for Belvedere vodka!) to very, very low (TrimSpa was heavily promoting something called "TrimWater," which is supposedly a diet drink but tastes more like grainy, sugary water flavored with cough syrup. Note to TrimSpa: grainy is NOT a word you want to use to describe water.) I was thrilled to see that my favorite San Francisco-based dessertry, Citizen Cake, had furnished the dessert table with scones, little jellied squares, a variety of delicious chocolate edibles and a massive, artistically rendered cake that looked too impressive to eat.